I would like to pass on to you this recent article about the media that you might find interesting:
Do the media play a significant role in shaping what Americans believe and how they behave? The Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center, conducted a study to find out. Among their conclusions was that 64 percent of Americans believe the media are an important factor in shaping moral values in this country; only seven percent say the media do not impact moral values. Findings also showed that 68 percent of Americans say the media have damaged the moral values of our nation.
The report, The Media Assault on American Values, issued June 6, also concluded that the more a person watches television, the less likely he or she is to believe that the media are influencing the nation’s morals. Robert Knight, director of CMI, called this the “seductive effect” of the media. Brent Bozell, founder and president of MRC, said, “[Liberalism] is seeping into the culture and it’s having its corrosive effect.” Syndicated talk-show host Michael Medved called the study one of the most important ones in years because it is one of the first to examine the amount instead of the quality of television viewed by Americans.
Other conclusions in the report include:
73 percent of Americans say the entertainment industry has a negative impact on moral values; only seven percent say the entertainment industry is having a positive impact.
54 percent of Americans say the news media have a negative impact on moral values; only 11 percent say the news media have a positive impact.
The more a person watches television, the less likely he will be to accept responsibility for his own life and for his obligations to the people around him.
The more a person watches television, the less likely he is to conduct himself honestly, reliably and fairly; the more permissive his attitudes toward moral issues — such as divorce, sex outside of marriage, abortion and homosexuality — are likely to be.
The more a person watches television, the less likely he is to honor godly values and religion in public life; the less likely he is to value religious principles and obedience to God.
David Walsh, president of the National Institute on Media and the Family, noted, “The real impact [shown by the study] ... is the ability of media to shape norms and values. That’s why advertisers like their messages in the media, because they know that they can influence us.” He also said it is important to realize that the correlation between watching a lot of television and being less suspicious of the media do not necessarily go hand in hand. “You can certainly say that those two things go together, but you can’t say that one causes the other, and they did imply that [in the study], and so that would be, I think, a weakness in their interpretation of the CMI study. ... When they make the leap from correlation to cause-effect, they’re making a leap that they shouldn’t be making.”
Visit www.cultureandmediainstitute.org for the full report from the Culture and Media Institute
From the Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, 6/14/07, Copyright © 2007, Focus on the Family
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